Excerpt from The Inside Ring by Mike Lawson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Inside Ring

By Mike Lawson

The Inside Ring
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: May 2005,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2006,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"You need anything else?" he asked Mahoney.

"Yeah, I want you to . . ." Mahoney stopped speaking, derailed by his addictions. He reignited a half-smoked cigar then reached for a large Stanley thermos on the credenza behind his desk. The thermos was battered and scarred and covered with stick-on labels from labor unions. Mahoney poured from the thermos and the smell of fresh coffee and old bourbon filled the room.

As Mahoney sipped his morning toddy DeMarco studied the bundle of contradictions that sat large before him. Mahoney was an alcoholic but a highly functional one; few people accomplished sober what he had managed in his cups. He was a serial adulterer yet deeply in love with his wife of forty years. He stretched soft-money laws like rubber bands and took tribute from lobbyists as his royal due, and yet he was the best friend the common man had on Capitol Hill. John Fitzpatrick Mahoney was Speaker of the House of Representatives and only the vice president stood between him and the Oval Office should the President fall. DeMarco doubted the authors had Mahoney in mind when they penned the Twenty-fifth Amendment.

The Speaker was DeMarco's height, almost six feet, but DeMarco always felt small standing next to him. Mahoney had a heavy chest and a heavier gut, and created the impression of a man perfectly balanced, impossible to rush, fluster, or inflame. His hair was white and very full, his complexion ruddy red, and his eyes sky blue, the whites perpetually veined with red. His features were all large and well formed: strong nose, jutting jaw, full lips, broad forehead. It was a face that projected strength, dignity, and intelligence--it was a face that got a man elected to a national office every two years.

Mahoney swallowed his laced coffee and said, "I want you to go see Andy Banks."

"The Homeland Security guy?"

"Yeah. He needs help with something."

"What?"

"I dunno. We were at this thing last night and he said he had a problem. Something personal. He says somebody told him I had a guy who could look into things."

DeMarco nodded. That was him: a guy who looked into things.

"Go see him this morning. He's expecting you."

"What about that problem in Trenton?"

"It'll wait. Go see Banks."



Chapter 2

Andrew Banks, secretary of Homeland Security, was a retired marine three-star general. He was fifty-nine years old, tall and flat-bellied, and his brown suit and olive-green tie resembled the uniform he had worn for thirty-three years. He had a prominent nose, a gray crew cut, and a mouth that was a slash above a thrusting chin. DeMarco noticed that his eyes, magnified slightly by wire-rimmed glasses, were the color of roofing nails.

Behind Banks's desk, framed by two American flags, was a large pre-9/11 photograph of the World Trade Center. The twin towers had been shot looking up from ground level, and they rose, seemingly forever, white and pristine, into a flawless blue sky. The photograph was a vivid, silent reminder of Banks's responsibilities.

DeMarco sat in one of three chairs arranged in a semicircle before Banks's desk. The chair was so uncomfortable that DeMarco wondered if it had seen prior duty in an interrogation room at Guantonamo Bay.

Excerpted from The Inside Ring by Michael Lawson, pages 5-11 of the hardcover edition. Copyright © 2005 by Michael Lawson. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

Great literature cannot grow from a neglected or impoverished soil...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.